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01PUCND

A.A. 2024/25

Course Language

Inglese

Degree programme(s)

Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare - Torino

Course structure

Teaching | Hours |
---|---|

Lezioni | 50 |

Esercitazioni in aula | 30 |

Lecturers

Teacher | Status | SSD | h.Les | h.Ex | h.Lab | h.Tut | Years teaching |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Subba Fabio | Professore Associato | IIND-07/D | 38 | 8 | 0 | 0 | 6 |

Co-lectures

Espandi

Riduci

Riduci

Teacher | Status | SSD | h.Les | h.Ex | h.Lab | h.Tut |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Dulla Sandra | Professore Ordinario | IIND-07/C | 6 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

Vecchi Giuseppe | Professore Ordinario | IINF-02/A | 6 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

Wu Haosheng | Ricercatore L240/10 | IIND-07/D | 0 | 34 | 0 | 0 |

Context

SSD | CFU | Activities | Area context |
---|---|---|---|

ING-IND/18 | 8 | B - Caratterizzanti | Ingegneria energetica e nucleare |

2024/25

Nuclear fusion has the potential of becoming a practically inexhaustible and almost clean energy source. The world’s efforts, in which Italy and Europe play a major role, focus on the confinement of a burning D-T plasma in devices based on superconducting magnets: the multi-billion ITER project, under construction at Cadarache in France, a few hundred kilometres from Torino, is scheduled to start operating in the late 20’s, while the EU is strongly pursuing the next step, i.e. a DEMO program, aiming at providing the first kWh from fusion. This course gives an introduction to both the physics of a nuclear fusion reactor. The course, mandatory for nuclear engineering students, could also be of interest for students who simply desire to get a somewhat more precise idea of the enormous potential of the fusion energy source.

Nuclear fusion has the potential of becoming a practically inexhaustible, carbon-free and environmentally friendly energy source. The world’s efforts, in which Italy and Europe play a leading role, focus on the confinement of a burning D-T plasma in devices based on superconducting magnets: the multi-billion ITER project, under construction at Cadarache in France, a few hundred kilometres from Torino, is scheduled to start operating in the late 20’s, while the EU is strongly pursuing the next step, i.e. a DEMO program, aiming at providing the first kWh from fusion. This course gives an introduction to the physics of a nuclear fusion reactor. The course, mandatory for nuclear engineering students, could also be of interest for students who simply desire to get a somewhat more precise idea of the enormous potential of the fusion energy source.

The student should acquire a basic knowledge of the physics of magnetically confined plasmas in a fusion reactor. The student should also acquire a critical perception of the main open issues and related perspectives of research and development in the field of fusion science and technology.

At the end of the course, the student should acquire the following levels of knowledge:
a) The student should understand
(i) The energy, mass and momentum balance for a fusion reactor
(ii) The general properties of matter in the state of plasma, and know what additional peculiarities characterize plasma in a fusion environment
(iii) The basic mechanisms of magnetic plasma confinement (both from the single particle orbit theory point of view and using the collective fluid description), and the properties of mechanical equilibrium in a magnetically confined plasma
(iv) Physics of Coulomb collisions in a magnetized plasma
(v) The main mechanisms governing interaction with the fusion plasma and the external world
(vi) The basic physics of particles and power exhaust in a fusion reactor and their critical importance for the overall machine
b) The student should be able to apply the knowledge acquired to the interpretation of results from simple practical experiments.
c) The student should be able to carefully examine the results of numerical experiments provided during the lectures on the topics of Power Exhaust and Plasma-Wall interactions, and to compare them with the theory discussed during the lectures.

The essential pre-requisite of the course is a good knowledge of the topics presented in the first two years of any Engineering BSc program. An introduction to nuclear engineering (like that provided, e.g., in the course “Fondamenti di ingegneria nucleare”) could be helpful, but is not mandatory.

The essential pre-requisite of the course is a good knowledge of the topics presented in the first two years of any Engineering BSc program. An introduction to nuclear engineering (like that provided, e.g., in the course “Elementi di ingegneria nucleare”), and a basic knowledge of Python/MATLAB programming could be helpful, but is not mandatory.

* General introduction
* motion of a single charged particle in the electromagnetic field
* definition of a plasma: Debye length, plasma frequency, quasi-neutrality
* MHD equilibrium and stability
* collisions in a plasma
* particle and energy transport
* performance of present tokamaks vs future reactors
* plasma heating
* Debye sheath and Bohm criterion; impurities; Scrape-Off Layer, 2-point model
* Physics of power exhaust
* Impurities physics
* Practical experience of small tokamak plasma operation (GOLEM)

* General introduction
* Estimate of the parameters characterizing a possible fusion reactor
* definition of a plasma: Debye length, plasma frequency, quasi-neutrality
* motion of a single charged particle in the electromagnetic field
* MHD equilibrium and stability
* collisions in a plasma
* particle and energy transport
* performance of present tokamaks vs future reactors
* plasma heating
* Debye sheath and Bohm criterion; impurities; Scrape-Off Layer, 2-point model
* Physics of power exhaust
* Impurities physics
* Practical experience of small tokamak plasma operation (GOLEM)

The teacher will try to organize a limited number of lectures/seminars given by external experts on selected topics. The detailed schedule and subject of these contributions will depend on the availability of the potential contributors. The teacher will broadcast complete information during the lecturing term as soon as possible.

The teacher will try to organize at least a visit to "Consorzio RFX-Padova", to help students getting acquainted with one of the main italian laboratories operating on the development of nuclear fusion reactors.

Physics The course will consist of theoretical lectures and of the practical solution of simple numerical problems. The students will also have the opportunity to perform an experimental session on a small tokamak.

The course will be organized as follows:
1) Main lectures.
They will cover most of the course topics. During the lectures, several numerical examples will be discussed to illustrate the discussion with practical example and help the student to develop a sensitivity to the most important figures in the subject. This part involves about 46h.
2) Seminars
Some amount of time will be dedicated to seminars/special lectures on specific topics considered relevant to the subject. These special lectures will be given by external experts contacted by the teacher among his scientific collaborators. The exact scheduling of such lectures will be announced at the beginning of the actual lecturing period, and can depend on the actual schedule of the teachers. It is expected that they will cover about 24h of the course.
3) Practical lectures
The last part of the course will be dedicated to practical classes on the physics of plasma-wall interactions and power exhaust in Tokamaks, focusing on data analysis techniques and practical examples. This part is expected to cover about 10h.

Reference textbooks
• J.P. Freidberg, Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy, Cambridge University Press, 2007
• Peter C. Stangeby, The Plasma Boundary of Magnetic Fusion Devices, Institute of Physics Publishing, 2000
The teacher will also distribute a few notes in support to the reference textbooks.

Reference textbooks
• J.P. Freidberg, Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy, Cambridge University Press, 2007
• Peter C. Stangeby, The Plasma Boundary of Magnetic Fusion Devices, Institute of Physics Publishing, 2000

Slides; Dispense; Esercizi risolti; Video lezioni tratte da anni precedenti;

Lecture slides; Lecture notes; Exercise with solutions ; Video lectures (previous years);

...
The final exam is in two parts, the first (mandatory) is written, the second is an oral discussion. The written test, of duration about 1h 40 m, involves a number of numerical problems and theoretical questions. It aims at verifying that the student can (i) complete successfully some simple calculations, and (ii) can critically discuss the simplest phenomena occurring in a fusion reactor. The students will be allowed to use a pocket computer, but no another material will be allowed, except what provided by the instructor. The maximum score which can be obtained from the written test is 27/30. Students who obtained a score equal or higher than 26/30 in the written test may ask to also have an oral discussion, during which the level of comprehension of the physical processes discussed during the main lectures will be verified in depth.

Gli studenti e le studentesse con disabilità o con Disturbi Specifici di Apprendimento (DSA), oltre alla segnalazione tramite procedura informatizzata, sono invitati a comunicare anche direttamente al/la docente titolare dell'insegnamento, con un preavviso non inferiore ad una settimana dall'avvio della sessione d'esame, gli strumenti compensativi concordati con l'Unità Special Needs, al fine di permettere al/la docente la declinazione più idonea in riferimento alla specifica tipologia di esame.

The three levels of knowledge this course intends to develop will be tested with specific, dedicated procedures. Each evaluation phase produces an independent score; the final evaluation will be the sum of the three independent contributions.
a) Understanding, will be assessed through two independent computer tests.
The first one will cover topics (i) - (iii) of the expected learning outcomes mentioned above.
The second one will cover will cover topics (iv) - (vi) of the expected learning outcomes mentioned above.
For each test:
- It will consist of a set of 20 multiple-answer questions, to be completed in 80 minutes.
- The test will be considered "passed" if at least 60% of the proposed questions are answered correctly. No contribution to the final score will be considered for a "passed" test.
- The test will be considered "passed with merit" if at least 80% of the proposed questions are answered correctly. A test "passed with merit" will contribute +1 to the final score.
The total score contribution a) can then be in the range 0-2. Independently on the score obtained for this contribution, both tests must be at least "passed" for the global evaluation to be completed.
b) The capacity to apply the acquired knowledge will be assessed through the evaluation of a report which the students will deliver. Students will be divided in a number of groups of approximate size 4-7 people each. Each group will deliver a single report. The report will focus on the interpretation of data gathered during a dedicated session organized in collaboration with the Czech Technical University in Prague. Technical details on the experiments execution will be provided during the course, approximately 1-2 weeks before the actual session and may vary depending on the status of the hardware available in Prague.
The total score of this contribution will be in the range 0-3. A minimum score of 1.5 is required to complete the evaluation process.
c) The capacity acquired to analyze and examine in details problems related to the course subject will be demonstrated by the student fulfilling an individual task, documented by a written report. This will focus on:
(i) Analyzing a dataset (obtained by performing numerical experiments) provided by the teacher on the physics of edge plasma and power exhaust in a Tokamak, and
(ii) Comparing the mentioned dataset with the theory discussed during the course, proposing and testing possible interpretations.
The total score of this contribution will be in the range 0-27. A minimum score of 14 is required to complete the evaluation process.
The report should be completed independently by the students. The teacher will provide the necessary numerical analysis tool.
Overall, the sum of the three contributions will range 0-32. Global scores larger than 30 will be recorded as "30 cum laude"
Part a) of the assessment will be held during the official calls. There is no definite scheduling for parts b) and c): they will be evaluated after the required reports are delivered. Students with a global score of 30 may ask to sustain an oral discussion after which the score will be either (i) confirmed or (ii) upgraded to "30 cum laude". In case a student asks for an oral discussion, this will be held during the first available call.

In addition to the message sent by the online system, students with disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) are invited to directly inform the professor in charge of the course about the special arrangements for the exam that have been agreed with the Special Needs Unit. The professor has to be informed at least one week before the beginning of the examination session in order to provide students with the most suitable arrangements for each specific type of exam.